Overnight Moisturizers - Why Use a Night Cream?
My Night Cream Epiphany!
Until very recently I believed that having to use night face cream as well as your usual daily moisturiser was just a way for the cosmetics companies to make more money. However, not so long ago as the weather got colder,
I found that my skin was getting drier and flakier and that no matter how much day cream I used or how often I exfoliated, I could not get it back to feeling silky smooth and hydrated. Age had caught up with me! An ordinary daytime moisturiser was no longer enough. I had to bite the bullet, overcome my prejudice of night creams and go shopping!
So, gentle readers, I bought some night face cream! That evening I cleansed my face and opened the new tub of night cream. It felt a lot thicker than my ordinary daytime moisturiser, and as I applied it to my face it did not get absorbed quite as quickly. This was a strange feeling, but I quickly fell into my customary deep, untroubled slumber.
The next morning I inspected my face and it was, to my surprise and delight, still feeling smooth and there was no flaking. Just to make sure I applied night cream on the following night and the following night and the results were the same every morning – my skin felt and looked great. I had finally been converted, and now understood that as you get older it does your skin good if you use a specialised night cream as well as a daily moisturiser.
So Why Use A Moisturizer?
So why do we use skin moisturisers? Quite simply we use them for moisturising the skin on our faces; for adding back moisture that has been stripped out of the skin by elements such as sun and wind. Adding water on its own to our skin is not an effective way of rehydrating it, as it will not hold on to the surface long enough to be absorbed.
The water needs to be added to some oil so that it will cling and allow the moisture to be absorbed and also this mixture prevents the skin from losing water as well. The majority of moisturizing face creams are either oil-in-water emulsions or water-in-oil emulsions.
Day creams are much lighter in texture than night moisturizers, as well as containing hydrating ingredients they often contain sun protection ingredients to block out harmful UVA and UVB rays. Day moisturisers are also designed to be light enough in texture to be worn under makeup and the use of a good day cream will help to give your makeup a smooth and professional-looking finish.
Using a Night Cream
Skin care experts reckon that we should start using a special night moisturizer when we are in our thirties, as our skin begins to age and becomes less resilient over time. As it begins to age we notice that fine lines start to appear, that it can appear dull and patchy with flaky areas and that we experience a general loss of skin elasticity.
It becomes harder to achieve that dewy, peachy glow of our early youth without a bit of help. The night hours are the prime time for our skin to regenerate and night creams are designed to nourish and care for it as we sleep. Our skin loses a great deal of moisture at night but conversely it also it has a greater ability to absorb active ingredients at night, so nighttime is a great time to apply a night cream that contains a lot of active ingredients to moisturize and nourish.
The active ingredients in the night cream can also repair any damage that has been caused during the day from air pollution, wearing makeup, free radicals and exposure to the sun.
The use of night cream has a long history, as reputedly Roman ladies used to smooth olive oil on to their faces before they went to bed to prevent wrinkles and keep them smooth. More recently night creams that were used were very heavy and oily, and couldn’t possibly be worn during the day because they stayed on the skin's surface for so long. I think that we have all seen those old television programmes where the lady is preparing for bed and has a thick layer of white cream on her face as she retires.
Modern night creams are designed with active ingredients that can boost the blood circulation in your skin, reduce wrinkles, fine lines and patches of discolouration, help stop your skin sagging, stimulate your skin cells to renew themselves, improve elastin and collagen production, soothe any angry, inflamed patches and improve ageing skin’s appearance. This is as well as moisturising your skin to keep it smooth and supple! For added hydration and active ingredients, you can also use a serum at night.
Do you use a night cream?
Choose the Right Night Cream for Your Skin Type
You can also get different night creams for different skin types, so there are night moisturizers for oily, normal, combination and especially dry and sensitive skins. If you have a very oily skin you might want to choose a special oil-free night cream that does not contain any vegetable, animal or mineral oil.
Also, if you have an especially sensitive skin you might want to think about purchasing a really pure or organic cream for night. It is also possible to make your own night cream and moisturizers and there are many books and recipes out there to use. Parabens are an ingredient in many night creams that has come under a great deal of scrutiny lately.
Parabens are chemicals that are used as preservatives in many cosmetics and it has been suggested by some studies that the use of parabens is linked to breast cancer. If you have concerns over the use of parabens, there are now paraben-free night creams and moisturizers on the market.
So I am now a convert to using a night cream and I find that my skin is staying much more hydrated, feels smoother and the tone looks more even. If you are unsure as to what skin type you have, you can visit the cosmetics department of a large store and ask one of the makeup consultants or you can treat yourself to a professional facial where your beauty therapist will take you through what sort of products you should be using for your particular skin type. Now as it is getting late, I am going to go and cleanse and then liberally apply my night cream before climbing into bed!
Facial image Sergio Savarese Wikimedia Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
© 2010 CMHypno